Ritz-Carlton South Beach Launches New Brunch

We Miamiams love our Sunday brunch. It's become a tradition -- one we're not willing to give up, and why would we? Brunch is a nice way to treat yourself after a long week of hustling and bustling.

And now there's another spot offering up this meal. To reward locals and tourists alike, the Ritz-Carlton South Beach has introduced a new Cocktails and Culinary Brunch ($75 per person).

This buffet-style brunch is arranged in stations, and each station is paired with its own cocktail. Short Order was invited to sample the hotel's new offering. Check out the pictures after the jump.

See also: Ten Best Miami Brunches

Bistro One LR chef de cuisine Gihen Zitouni is in charge of brunch. She's been with the Ritz for 12 years, but at this particular location for only six months. Her passion for food and traveling has led her from Barcelona and Portugal to her hometown of Toronto and now Miami.

Her favorite city, however, is Barcelona. "The culture in that city is mind-blowing, and the Hotel Arts Barcelona is a whole different Ritz-Carlton experience," says Zitouni. "As a chef, it's extremely important for me to be able to travel and get to know other flavors and cuisines out there. It's then that you can really see where you fit into it and find your own unique flavor profile."

Her brunch features global influences with a focus on Spanish and Mediterranean cuisine. Menu items include unlimited fresh oysters, prawns, and snow crab claws. Besides each station's paired cocktail, Bloody Marys and mimosas are flowing for as long as you'd like. Go for the Bloody Mary -- it's bloody good.

There's also a sushi and ceviche bar, which features spoons of cilantro scallops, chipotle snapper, and shrimp with polenta. The cilantro scallop was our favorite; the sauce is is worth slurping.

This station is paired with the Green Guava, which mixes sake, St. Germain liqueur, Grey Goose vodka, guava nectar, and lemon grass syrup with champagne.

A charcuterie station proffers a diverse selection of imported meats and cheeses. You can also pick up fresh croissants from the pastry table, or order an omelet to your liking at the omelet station. French toast or pancakes with your your choice of toppings and mix-ins are another option here, as well as hash browns, sausages, Spanish tortilla, and a salad bar. The breakfast station is paired with gin and St. Germain.

You can also try the eggs benedict, which are offered a la carte. The menu offers filet mignon, salmon, and spinach varieties. Our advice? Get all filet mignon.

A grill station is set up outside where the mixed seafood paella is the star. The rice is perfectly-cooked and the flavor is just right. It's even got a nice little kick to it. (Think traditional Spanish saffron, but with a twist.)

Other contenders include petite beef tenderloin, seared mahi mahi, salmon, garlic confit mashed potatoes, and paprika spice onion rings.

There's also spiced prime rib with horseradish cream, jus, and patatas bravas. It's paired with a sweet and spicy drink -- tequila, aperol, fresh lime juice, agave nectar, fresh watermelon juice, and a dash of jalapeño.

No brunch is brunch without a sweet ending -- and you've got some tough decisions to make here. There are about 15 different desserts -- including orange cupcakes, white chocolate raspberry trifle, citrus rice pudding, nutella cheesecake, dulce de leche chocolate tart, and a chocolate fountain.

We tried everything, but our favorite was the assortment of macarons. The toffee flavor is exquisite. Pair each treat with the Dessert Rose drink -- cucumber, honeydew melon, rose nectar, and cucumber vodka. Or better yet, skip this drink and keep going with the Bloody Marys. They pair perfectly with every courses.

Cocktails and Culinary Brunch runs every Sunday at the Ritz-Carlton from 12 p.m. to 3 p.m. and is priced at $75 per person; $35 for children 12 and under.

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